Does your company’s business blog read more like a sales-pitch than an informational guide? That’s a problem. The latest numbers are in and it turns out, if someone is reading your blog, they’re not quite ready to make a purchase. Only 3 percent of first-time visitors to websites are ready to make a purchase. As connected Americans increasingly turn to Google and social media channels for product research, your company has an opportunity to increase value and sales by creating TOFu, MOFu and BOFu content and giving away free information to potential customers, a concept known to marketers as content marketing.
Remember the last time you were shopping at a retail store, and the sales representative kept asking if they could start a dressing room for you? If you’re just browsing, their attempts to close a sale can feel overly pushy. Inbound marketing is based on optimal positioning, which means your company should work to be found by the people who matter. Aligning your sales and marketing efforts to ensure your content is relevant to people’s interests at their stage of the buying process, also known by HubSpot as SMarketing, means you need to learn the difference between TOFu, MOFu and BOFu content:
TOFu (Top of Funnel):
When first-time website visitors arrive on your company blog from Google, what are they trying to find out? If you’re a wedding caterer, they might be wondering how far in advance they need to make reservations. If your company specializes in luxury transportation for Proms, they’re probably wondering how many teens can comfortably sit in a limo.
Writing really delicious TOFu means your company needs to develop buyer personas, one of the most powerful inbound marketing tools you can adopt. Learn the demographics, pain points and priorities of your real-life prospects. What are their questions in the early stages of the buying cycle? Your company’s sales and customer service representatives are likely going to be your best insight. The world’s best TOFu is based on answering real-life questions people have when they first come to your company website.
MOFu (Middle of Funnel):
If your attempts at Inbound Marketing have gone well, you’ve exchanged a free, high-value content offer such as an eBook or whitepaper in exchange for your prospects’ contact information. MOFu (middle-of-the-funnel) content is most often distributed through email marketing, also known as marketing automation or lead nurturing. How can you help your customers move through their sales process into being ready to make a purchase? Are they interested in detailed comparison guides between you and your competitors or tutorials on how to put your product to use? Due to the fact that the length of a sales cycle can vary widely within a single industry, it’s essential to connect with your sales team once again to discover how you can match MOFu to your prospects’ questions and concerns before they make the sale.
BOFu (Bottom of Funnel):
If your sales leads have expressed an ongoing interest in your company’s products by opening emails, heading back to your company website or talking with your sales representatives, it’s time to close the deal with some BOFu (bottom-of-the-funnel) content. Can you send a personalized email offering a free demo or trial? How about an executive summary or sales kit? BOFu content is the crucial piece that transform your inbound marketing leads into clients, so ensure your final offers are enticing enough to draw leads in the final stage of your sales cycle into customers.